It’s not either or, this or that, prayer or medicine, faith or pharmacy. God heals, and he often uses the wisdom he’s given medical experts to aid the body’s natural restoration processes. We’ve all heard of tragic stories – people who choose for themselves – or more horribly – for their children, to trust in prayer and deny medical treatment. Why does it have to be one OR the other? Why can’t we see the strength and benefits of both?
Prayer for healing is never magic, it’s miracle. When we pray we’re asking God to move in and through natural order, to accelerate and restore creation, not to break his own laws. Healing is re-creation and bringing matters in the physical world back to their original destiny.
In God’s mind there is no separation between the spiritual and the physical. The Bible says that God created this world, and originally called it “good.” That means he is the designer and originator of the laws of life and existence. If I’m stuffing my face with a bowl of spaghetti and see a starving person outside the window, I must do more than pray that they get food. I’m likely going to be part of the answer to that prayer, physically helping that person get nutrition for their body. In the same way God heals physical bodies in practical ways through a partnership of prayer and medical wisdom
In this current H1N1 pandemic people of faith must cooperate with doctors and officials and add into the battle the element of prayer. When we pray we need to pray with knowledge and information. If I pray for heart health, I’d better stop eating burgers and fries for lunch! God won’t do magic. But real miracles do occur when we pray. God moves into each equation and works with and alongside the physical, practical elements of the situation.
So here’s how we’re handling this balance in our family right now: Aspirin, orange juice, rest, and prayer. We’re doing what the Bible says, “laying our hands on” those in our family fighting this bug, praying, “Jesus, bring your healing. We curse this virus in your name! May our immune systems rise up to fight.” And then we’re doing what the doctor orders. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and. That’s no paradox or contradiction.
Question: How do you hold the balance between faith through prayer and faith through medicine?